Today we read a chyron that described Steve Bannon as the “ultimate outsider,” which makes Trump’s putative top strategist sound more like a guy who is ready to shake up Pittsburgh’s molecular gastronomy scene and less like a guy who wants to put our grandfather on a train. Unless we’re misreading the situation, the left’s response to Trump thus far has been “protest in urban areas, wear safety pins and cry while watching ‘The West Wing,’” so we should probably all gird ourselves for the next eight years. And searches for “fascism” and “xenophobia” spiked after Tuesday’s election. We’re not surprised; we’ve been alarmed by search queries since reading about the popularity of “what if gf pregnert.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, November 14th, 2016:
VERY GROUCHY MAN CONSIDERED FOR JOB - Jessica Schulberg and Ryan Grim: “President-elect Donald Trump is leaning toward naming as secretary of state John Bolton, a bellicose enemy of Russia and Iran who is among the most hawkish members of the Republican foreign policy community, according to two sources familiar with Trump’s thinking. Bolton is the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, but served less than two years, as Democrats banded together to block his long-term appointment. His time there was marked by a rapid uptick in anti-American sentiment among the global diplomatic community, and Bolton remains one of the most disliked foreign policy operators on the world stage. One source said that Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker still had an outside chance of winning the position, if he made a play for it and enough Republicans rallied to his side. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Rudy Giuliani is also under consideration for the post.” [HuffPost]
OBAMA HARDER ON HILLARY THAN TRUMP BECAUSE GOD DAMNIT HILLARY YOU HAD ONE JOB - Now we’re going to have to consult the gypsy woman atop that mountain about sacrificing a few goats to extend Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life a few years. Mollie Reilly: “President Barack Obama implicitly criticized Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party’s tactics during a press conference on Monday, arguing that a national press strategy isn’t enough to win an election in today’s political climate. In his first press conference since last week’s election, Obama was asked what he thinks his party should do to rebuild after Clinton’s loss to President-elect Donald Trump. ‘I believe that we have better ideas,’ Obama said of the Democratic Party. ‘But I also believe that good ideas don’t matter if people don’t hear them.’ Obama continued: ‘Given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere.’” [HuffPost]
MIKE PENCE HAS HIS OWN EMAIL SCANDAL BECAUSE OF COURSE - MikePenceShakingHeadNo.Gif Fatima Hussein: “Now that the presidential campaign and most of the furor over Hillary Clinton’s email scandal are behind us, the Pence administration is going to court to argue for its own brand of email secrecy. The administration is fighting to conceal the contents of an email sent to Gov. Mike Pence by a political ally. That email is being sought by a prominent Democratic labor lawyer who says he wants to expose waste in the Republican administration. But legal experts fear the stakes may be much higher than mere politics because the decision could remove a judicial branch check on executive power and limit a citizen’s right to know what the government is doing and how it spends taxpayer dollars. ‘It comes down to this — the court is giving up its ability to check another branch of government, and that should worry people,’ said Gerry Lanosga, an Indiana University media professor specializing in public records law.” [IndyStar]
HERE’S A THING WE’RE CURIOUS ABOUT - Whether the Republicans who kept making noise about Huma Abedin’s alleged conspiracy with the Muslim Brotherhood (there isn’t any) ― as if she were secretly pulling a Brody from “Homeland” when she wasn’t telling aides what Hillary’s favorite Talenti flavor is ― will raise similar alarms about Steve Bannon who is, y’know, *actually* a white nationalist. “Why aren’t we talking about Huma [Abedin] and her ties to the Muslim Brotherhood?” Rep. Sean Duffy, asked during an August appearance on CNN. “I think we should look at those relationships especially when someone’s that closely related to the Secretary of State it becomes a critical issue,” Steve King told Bannon’s Breitbart in 2012. Reps. Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Lynn Westmoreland also signed onto a 2012 letter penned by then-Rep. Michele Bachmann to the inspectors general of the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and the Office of National Intelligence. We reached out for comment from their offices but haven’t heard back.
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NO YOU HANG UP, NO *YOU* HANG UP! - U.S.-Russian relations will really improve once its leaders begin watching Bloodsport every Thursday night while on the phone with each other. Elise Viebeck, Jerry Markon and Karen DeYoung: “President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone conversation Monday that relations between their countries were ‘unsatisfactory’ and vowed to work together to improve them, the Kremlin said in a statement. The statement said the two leaders discussed combining efforts in the fight against terrorism, talked about ‘a settlement for the crisis in Syria’ and agreed their aides would begin working toward a face-to-face meeting between them. Trump’s office has not commented on the call, and the Russian statement did not indicate who initiated it. Since his victory last week, Trump has received congratulatory calls from a number of foreign leaders. On the day after the U.S. election, Putin sent Trump a telegram covering many of the same themes, including his desire to improve U.S.-Russia relations and establish a dialogue based on ‘mutual respect and genuine consideration for each other’s positions.’” [WaPo]
WHITE NATIONALISTS REALLY PUMPED FOR TRUMP - Now if only Pope Francis would reverse Vatican II.… Matt Ferner: “Leaders in the white nationalist movement are thrilled that President-elect Donald Trump has named Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor. They see Bannon, the Breitbart News executive chairman denounced for anti-Semitism and peddling white nationalist views, as someone who will push Trump toward extremism. Rocky Suhayda, chairman of the American Nazi Party, told CNN he was ‘a bit surprised’ that Trump chose Bannon, expressing hope the president-elect would ‘rock the boat.’ ‘Perhaps The Donald IS for ‘REAL’ and is not going to be another controlled puppet directed by the usual ‘Wire Pullers,’ and does indeed intend to ROCK the BOAT? Time will tell,’ Suhayda wrote in an email. Richard Spencer, a leader in the so-called ‘alt-right’ ― a term he coined in 2008 ― told The Huffington Post that he’s ‘very excited’ that Trump picked Bannon, who he says is a ‘real fighter and a genuine nationalist.’” [HuffPost]
DEMOCRATS TAKE A BREAK FROM DISARRAY TO DENOUNCE BANNON - Also, we’re waiting for Heath Shuler to announce another bid for Nancy Pelosi’s job, and then for someone to tell him he can’t. Laura Barron-Lopez: “Democrats raised alarms Monday over the naming of Steve Bannon, executive chairman at Breitbart News, as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the pick an ‘alarming signal’ that Trump ‘remains committed to the hateful and divisive vision that defined his campaign.’ …’There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump administration,’ Pelosi said in a statement Monday.” [HuffPost]
GWEN IFILL DEAD :-( Ashley Alman: Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and co-anchor of ‘PBS NewsHour,’ has died. She was 61 years old. WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller confirmed the news to staff in a Monday email, saying Ifill died of cancer. ‘I am very sad to tell you that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away today in hospice care in Washington,’ she wrote. ‘I spent an hour with her this morning and she was resting comfortably, surrounded by loving family and friends.’ A veteran journalist, Ifill moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates. She was set to receive the 2016 John Chancellor Award from Columbia University for ‘her unflinching pursuit of the truth, healthy skepticism of those in power and her commitment to fairness.’ The award ceremony, scheduled for Nov. 16, was recently postponed.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some grizzly bears engaging in some self-care.
AT LEAST PEOPLE ARE LOOKING UP WORDS, WE GUESS - Nina Golgowski: “It’s not just the election results many Americans are trying to understand. Merriam-Webster Dictionary has shared some of the most frequently searched words on its site since last week’s presidential election, and the list may or may not surprise you. ‘Fascism,’ ‘bigot,’ ‘xenophobe,’ ‘racism,’ ‘socialism,’ ‘resurgence,’ ‘xenophobia’ and ‘misogyny’ were the most searched words Sunday, in that order…. The online dictionary pointed out that ‘resurgence’...has been trending since the morning of the presidential election. ‘Fascism’ ― ‘a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government’ ― had been near the top of the list in the days leading up to the election.” [HuffPost]
- Enjoy this Voxplainer on the difference between streets, roads and avenues, and boulevards.
- What actually goes into that package of pepperoni you bought at three in the morning from 7-11.
- The best Biden prank memes.
@GavinEtc: “Let’s see how Trump does.”
”He’s hiring a white supremacist.”
”Let’s see how he does after that.”
@BrandyLJensen: My brain is broken but I love the idea that someone’s scientific legacy is calling the bigass moon “super”
@libbycwatson: since gallows humor is all we have at the mo, i cannot stop laughing at the idea of trump’s shocked face as he learns what a president does